Chamisa says his party has done better than expected

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THE opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) says during the year 2022, the party made an impression on the political scene despite violence perpetrated on its members and persecution of its supporters by State security agents, and the ruling Zanu PF party.

CCC was launched on January 24 this year.

In a tweet yesterday, CCC party leader Nelson Chamisa said: “We express our deepest gratitude to you all who have supported us materially and morally in this struggle for a New Great Zimbabwe. Thank you for your incredible and unrivalled kindness to us, and that unparalleled generosity to Zimbabwe. We scored big in 2022.”

CCC Bulawayo provincial deputy spokesperson Felix Mafa Sibanda said the greatest success of the party, despite persecution, was winning elections two months after its launch.

“We launched a dynamic party that took Zimbabwe by storm within days. We then won 19 parliamentary seats out of 28, which was a magnificent achievement. We participated in by-elections, where there was violence perpetrated by Zanu PF. Fortunately, we scored very well, above 60%. Zanu PF intimidated our people, killed our supporters, Mboneni Ncube in Kwekwe and Moreblessing Ali in Nyatsime, and arrested our people including, Zengeza West MP honourables Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole (Chitungwiza North),” he said.

“Our road to democracy has been so painful in 2022. However, we made successes, and we also thrived in rural areas and grabbed Zanu PF’s strongholds.”

On 2022 setbacks, Sibanda said:  “Zanu PF is against a democratic dispensation. It has caused a lot of political violence. There is selective application of the law, the Judiciary and police are biased. There are some magistrates who are intimidated by Zanu PF. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) is not even transparent, and it is failing to consult relevant stakeholders. We were also banned from having rallies. There is no freedom of association. If this continues in 2023, then the elections will be disputable.”

On 2023 elections, Sibanda said: “We have galvanised Zimbabweans, we are ready to take the bull by its own horns. But our strategies can’t be exposed. We are only saying that we are ready for elections, we are ready to cast our votes and defend them. Another thing that we noticed is that Zanu PF is being funded by the diaspora, but it has refused people in the diaspora their right to vote wherever they are. Zanu PF is not prepared to be democratic.”

Zanu PF information director Tafadzwa Mugwadi said the opposition party was looking for excuses for its “impending” defeat in 2023.

“We have always said these CCC shameless charlatans have nothing to offer the electorate besides provoking violence. The world saw videos of CCC activists burning houses in Nyatsime, and when they are arrested, they cry foul. Our President Emmerson Mnangagwa is very clear that violence won’t be tolerated,” Mugwadi said.

Political analyst Romeo Chasara said CCC fared relatively well in 2022 given that the odds were stacked against the party.

“In Zimbabwe, no party had ever performed so well in its first election like what the CCC did in March by-elections. The party has introduced new ways of doing things and it has worked well for them. However, the continuous arrests of their members and constant ban of their rallies should worry them as we go into 2023,” Chasara said. – News Day